What is the NYSUNY 2020 bill?
Introduced by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, this pioneering piece
of legislation was created to implement the NYSUNY 2020 Challenge
Grant Program -- a joint program between the governor and the State
University of New York (SUNY) -- to enhance SUNY's academic mission
while maintaining affordability and placing college campuses across
New York at the center of the state's regionally based economic
revitalization strategy. The bill provides a means to invest in the
long-term economic development plans on SUNY campuses and in the
The bill authorizes all SUNY campuses to implement a rational
tuition plan that gives the campuses the ability to raise tuition
up to $300 annually for five years. In addition, as a component of
the NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant Program, the four University
Centers in Buffalo, Albany, Binghamton and Stony Brook are
authorized to raise tuition 10 percent for out-of-state
Importantly, the bill prevents the state from cutting funding to
SUNY an amount equal to the revenue generated by tuition increases.
This was a long-standing practice in Albany following SUNY tuition
To offset the impact of tuition increases on low- and
middle-income students and families, the bill provides a financial
aid program. To ensure equitable access to UB, the university also
will invest a portion of tuition revenues into need-based financial
Why is this legislation good for UB, its students and the
UB views the tuition policy articulated in Gov. Cuomo's
legislation as a fair and responsible tuition policy for SUNY's
campuses. Through this program of predictable tuition increases, UB
can better invest in students' education and in the pursuit of
The legislation will provide UB with the financial resources to
pursue the next phase of its UB 2020 plan for academic excellence,
a far-reaching plan to transform UB into a world-class public
university, enhancing for students and alumni alike the value of a
UB education and degree.
UB will use funding provided by the bill's tuition plan to offer
students the very best academic programs, hire new faculty in a
variety of academic disciplines and spur economic development in
Western New York through groundbreaking research and education of a
talented workforce prepared to excel in a 21st century economy.
As the next phase of UB 2020 progresses, the UB School of
Medicine and Biomedical Sciences will relocate to downtown Buffalo
in a new state-of-the-art-facility on the Buffalo Niagara Medical
Campus. This will open up new educational opportunities for
students, create opportunities to improve health care throughout
the region and help spur the growth of new jobs and businesses. The
university anticipates that more than 3,000 jobs will be created in
Western New York by 2018.
How will UB invest the tuition increases and capital funding
authorized by the bill to benefit students?
UB will invest tuition revenues directly into the education of
our students. The university will expand course offerings
throughout the university, particularly in high-demand subjects. We
will implement smaller class-sizes and expand research
opportunities for students, which will improve the quality of our
students' educational experience and degree completion rate. UB
will hire outstanding faculty members who will teach and mentor
students and who will contribute to groundbreaking research in key
Capital funding from the NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant, authorized
in the bill, will enable the university to relocate the UB School
of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences to downtown Buffalo within a
new state-of-the-art facility. This new facility will be located on
the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus in close proximity to other UB
facilities and the region's leading health care institutions.
Collaboration among these institutions will improve regional health
care and medical education, produce groundbreaking medical research
and spur economic development.
The overall goal is to provide UB students with the highest
quality education programs and activities, comparable to those
offered at the best universities in the world. These additions to
UB's academic and research excellence are expected lead to more
ideas, greater discoveries and better educational outcomes for UB's
students that will also benefit the surrounding community, the
state and the world.
How is UB ensuring affordability for students and their
In order to ensure tuition affordability, this legislation will
help students and families with the cost increases. UB is strongly
committed to keeping access to a quality higher education
affordable for lower- and middle-income students.
Students who are eligible for the maximum Tuition Assistance
Program ("TAP") award will not be impacted by the tuition increases
authorized by the bill. To ensure equitable access to UB, the
university also will invest a portion of tuition revenues into
need-based financial aid. Even with increases in tuition, UB will
remain one of the most affordable public universities in the
With the bill's rational tuition plan, students and families
will be able to plan for increases in tuition instead of being
surprised by sudden spikes of tuition that historically have been
used to fund the state budget instead of investing in education
programs and new faculty on SUNY campuses. Such spikes and
uncertainty in tuition levels are detrimental to students, families
and the university system.
Where can I find specific information about UB's new tuition
rates and financial aid opportunities?
The university is in the process of reviewing the legislation as
it pertains to tuition, fees, and financial aid. UB's Student
Response Center will update its website once specific information
How does this new tuition rate compare statewide and
Even with this tuition increase, UB tuition will remain a
significant bargain as compared with our peers among major public
research universities nationwide, as well as our fellow Association
of American Universities (AAU) public institutions.
New York State tuition has long been a national outlier compared
to other public flagships and our peer AAU public institutions.
Compared with public higher education tuition and fee rates across
the country, SUNY tuition and fees are well below those of our
state peers (Pennsylvania's public tuition, for example, is more
than 110 percent higher than SUNY's). When compared with our AAU
peers, UB tuition and fees are also among the lowest
The increases in tuition that this legislation authorizes are
well within national norms. Consider these comparisons:
-- Over the last 20 years, our public AAU peers have increased
their resident tuition by almost 8 percent annually, on
-- And over the same time period, SUNY tuition has increased on
average by almost 7 percent per year -- but in a highly
unpredictable way that has meant uncertainty and financial
difficulty for our students.
Why is it important to move the UB medical school to downtown
UB's commitment to downtown Buffalo is fundamental to the next
phase of the UB 2020 plan for academic excellence.
Details of UB's plan to move to downtown Buffalo, under the
NYSUNY Challenge Grant are available here.
Relocating the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences to
downtown Buffalo, under the NYSUNY Challenge Grant, will do three
things: It will enable the university to build a state-of-the-art
education and research facility for medical students; it will
improve health care in Western New York by creating an environment
where researchers, physicians and students work together to offer
better patient care and medical treatments; and it will enhance the
existing Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, creating new opportunities
for economic development fueled by medical research and
state-of-the-art patient care, as well as new economic
opportunities for businesses located in and around the campus.
As the UB medical school moves downtown and new faculty are
hired throughout UB, the university anticipates creating 1,325 new
jobs at UB and 1,700 new jobs in the community as a result of UB's
research growth. More than 1,600 construction jobs would be
created, as well, to build the new UB medical school in downtown
Western New York business and community leaders have united to
embrace the UB 2020 plan. With the passage of the bill, the
university is now ready to build upon the assets it already has on
the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus in order to build a world-class
university and fuel a vibrant 21st-century innovation economy for
our region and state.
When will the UB medical school move?
We are ready to begin this project now. We have a financial
strategy in place, collaborating partners who are ready to engage
and a community that recognizes the importance of UB's role in
revitalizing downtown Buffalo. This summer, we will have completed
the final development plan for the new medical school site, which
will be located at the intersection of Main and High streets next
to Buffalo General Hospital, and by the summer of 2016 construction
of a new UB medical school will be completed.
The medical school relocation, however, is only one piece of the
university's growing presence in downtown Buffalo. UB's Clinical
and Translational Research Center and its Biosciences Incubator,
are scheduled to open in fall 2011 in a new clinical and medical
research building being constructed as a joint venture with Kaleida
Health's Global Vascular Institute. This collaborative medical
facility will focus on translating medical research into new
treatments and technologies for patient care.
In June, the university will open the UB Institute for
Healthcare Informatics, leveraging a $15 million investment from
computer giant Dell, and focused on improving patient care through
more efficient sharing and interpretation of medical records.
UB also recently broke ground on construction of a new
Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) that will provide job-training
in entry-level science, medical and technology fields. In addition,
the new UB Downtown Gateway, located next door to the site of the
new EOC, is home to the administrative offices of UBMD,
representing more than 450 faculty physicians, as well as UB's
Office of Economic Engagement.
In 2005, UB opened the New York State Center of Excellence in
Bioinformatics and Life Sciences to focus on creation of new
medical innovations/research and the spin-off of life-science
technologies and businesses locally. UB's Research Institute on
Addictions also is located on the downtown medical campus.
Collaborations among these UB facilities and Buffalo's other
leading health care and research institutions are helping to
transform Buffalo into a hub for ground-breaking medical care,
education and research.
Is UB scaling back its UB 2020 plan?
No. "UB 2020" is the name given to the university's long-term
strategic vision of achieving its full potential as a world-class
public research university. This vision includes several strategies
for enhancing academic excellence and research excellence, many of
which are already underway.
Moving the medical school downtown is simply the next logical
step of our long-range plan. Authorization of the NYSUNY 2020 bill
will advance the next phase of UB 2020, creating new programs of
academic excellence, new jobs and significant new economic
development over the next five years.
What will happen to UB South Campus when medical school
UB's comprehensive physical master plan specifies that the UB
South Campus will become a center for professional education, with
the Law School, Graduate School of Education, School of Social Work
and executive education programs of the School of Management
joining the School of Architecture and Planning on the historic
The plan envisions better and more attractive connections
between the campus and the surrounding neighborhood. Historic
quadrangles and campus green spaces will be beautified, removing
unsightly temporary buildings, recovering grand lawns from parking
and revitalizing landscapes.
In addition, the master plan for the South Campus calls for
rehabilitation of historic structures, improvements to pedestrian
paths, public access and way-finding, with new security
enhancements and campus lighting, better systems for transit
patrons and bicycle commuters, a simplified campus perimeter road
and a new Bailey Avenue entrance. Several of these improvements
have already been made, or are currently underway.
Is UB privatizing?
No. The University at Buffalo is and will remain public, a
flagship campus of the State University of New York system. UB
remains committed to its mission as a public research university,
educating students of all socio-economic levels and being a vital
contributor to the region's economy and quality of life.
The NYSUNY 2020 bill and UB 2020 plan will enable UB to achieve
its full potential as a world-class research and teaching
institution, and a stronger university that will academically and
economically benefit students, families and all of Western New
York. As the university implements the next phase of the UB 2020
plan, we anticipate significantly increasing, not decreasing, the
number of union jobs at UB.